top of page

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story

follow US

*List Price:


Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52

Is this book about a real woman in STEAM?

This picture book biography examines the life and career of naturalist and artist Anna Comstock (1854-1930), who defied social conventions and pursued the study of science. From the time she was a young girl, Anna Comstock was fascinated by the natural world. She loved exploring outdoors, examining wildlife and learning nature's secrets. From watching the teamwork of marching ants to following the constellations in the sky, Anna observed it all. And her interest only increased as she grew older and went to college at Cornell University. There she continued her studies, pushing back against those social conventions that implied science was a man's pursuit. Eventually Anna became known as a nature expert, pioneering a movement to encourage schools to conduct science and nature classes for children outdoors, thereby increasing students' interest in nature. In following her passion, this remarkable woman blazed a trail for female scientists today.

2018 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52
Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52
Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 12.09.52


Suzanne Slade


Jessica Lanan


Sleeping Bear Press

Recommended Ages:

6 - 9 years

Anna Comstock

Sylvia Acevedo.jpg

Girls Love STEAM Review:

Additional Reader & Professional Reviews:

"This is my gold standard example of how you do a children s book about a scientist. The art and words are in perfect sympathy with each other, the story is inspiring and important, and there are moments in it of bittersweet beauty on par with the best in all of children s literature. I adore it. "
-- Women You Should Know Reading List

"Slade and Lanan bring the biography of scientist Anna Comstock to young readers. A true story about an early champion of nature education, this beautifully illustrated watercolor picture book introduces young readers to Anna Botsford Comstock, a white woman born in 1854. ... She attended Cornell University to study entomology and also honed her artistic craft in drawing insects. Anna Comstock insisted that New York state integrate nature study into classroom lessons and allow children to experience nature while in school. ... Quotes from her writing augment the illustrations in a complementary display type. The informative backmatter fills in more details about the life and accomplishments of this naturalist, writer, scholar, and forward-thinking female pioneer. An inspirational must-read for budding scientists and those who teach them."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Quotations from Comstock are sprinkled throughout, accompanied by Slade's gentle narration: Anna believed that children should experience nature too. They needed to hold it close in their fingers, feel it squish between their toes. It's a lovely tribute to a pioneering educator."
--Publisher Weekly

"Though not many will be familiar with Comstock, her story is told with such warmth and admiration that people will be rooting for her the entire time. Lanan's pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are done with loving attention to detail; young nature lovers in particularly might delight in the close-up details on different bugs. This sweet biography is perfect for fans of Patrick McDonnell s Me . . . Jane (2011), or any child who relishes the feeling of mud squishing between their toes."

*Store prices may vary.

Want to add your own review?  

Click our survey links below and let us know what you think of this book!

For ages 12 and under

Parent Permission Required

For ages 13-17

For ages 18 & Above

bottom of page